Prevention of violence in school settings is a shared social problem, but schools can make a difference. For instance, teachers can watch community events to identify signs of violence and can foster discussions among children. Teachers can also facilitate art-based expression to help children deal with their feelings. But these approaches cannot solve the problem alone. A recent study suggests the opposite. Schools can only make a difference if they consider their own role in the prevention of violence.
In addition to addressing the root causes of violence, school administrators can implement other methods, such as reducing internalization and implementing a zero-tolerance policy. In many cases, administrators base their decisions on the ease of implementation, cost, and public relations issues. While a popular method may be convenient, it may not be effective. School safety experts recommend that school leaders consider these alternatives. These measures will help prevent violence in schools.
As violence among young people increases, teachers must take a proactive approach in dealing with it. While imposing order to prevent violent behavior may seem necessary, it is important to address underlying issues. For example, teaching social and emotional lessons may not be enough if some students have not been exposed to these lessons. Curricula-based interventions may be a better fit for dealing with the issue of violence in schools.
Refocusing teaching methods may also be effective means of violence prevention. One approach involves implementing a “Constructive Controversy” curriculum, whereby students debate opposing sides of an issue and try to understand the other side’s perspective. Moreover, such a program is more effective if the students are in at-risk situations, especially if they have a child on the way. The research suggests that these approaches are effective and have helped reduce violent incidents in schools.
School safety programs vary in their goals. Some are intended to increase physical safety, while others aim to foster a “psychologically healthy” school environment. Regardless of their goals, they must be implemented and evaluated to ensure they work. Dissemination methods include training, technical assistance, and process evaluation. Some states mandate the introduction of violence prevention programs. Among these are the Bully/Victim Program and the “SAVE” legislation. These programs are meant to change social norms and school responses to bullying in schools.
The implementation of weapons-deterrent policies is one way to protect children from violence. Although weapons-deterrent policies may improve physical safety, these policies could compromise the psychological safety of students. They may also not address the underlying reasons that lead students to bring guns and other weapons to school. However, both of these measures can work in conjunction. It is important to understand that violence prevention programs must incorporate a comprehensive approach to protect students from terrorism and other forms of violence.
School safety programs can address a range of risk factors and identify students at risk of violence. Nurses can help school staff identify vulnerable students and identify ways to intervene before they escalate to violence. The CDC has identified several risk factors as well as protective factors that increase the likelihood of a violent school situation. These factors include a history of victimization, emotional or substance abuse, low IQ, poor health, gang affiliation, and low family involvement.
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